NASCAR champion William Byron has ascended the professional ranks more rapidly than any driver in recent memory. In 2018, the young phenom began his rookie campaign in the elite NASCAR Cup Series behind the wheel of one of the most iconic cars in racing history, the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 of Hendrick Motorsports.
A 20-year-old native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Byron has quickly amassed an impressive list of accomplishments – especially considering he first drove a race car just five years ago. He embarked on his first year at stock car racing’s highest level fresh off a championship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and already with 11 NASCAR national series victories under his belt.
Hendrick Motorsports signed Byron, then 18, in August 2016 when he was a record-breaking rookie in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. By the end of his season driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports, he had racked up an astounding seven victories, 3,248 laps led and three pole positions en route to rookie of the year honors. Although Byron narrowly missed winning the championship due to an engine failure, it was the most successful debut season in Camping World Truck Series history.
In 2017, Byron moved up to compete in the second-tier NASCAR Xfinity Series for Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports, where in addition to winning the series championship, he earned four wins, two pole positions, 12 top-five finishes, 22 top-10s and rookie of the year. His title-winning campaign included victories at Iowa, Phoenix and the historic venues of Daytona and Indianapolis, where he became the youngest winner of a major race in the track’s 108-year history.
As Byron competed for a championship, Hendrick Motorsports in August 2017 announced his next – and biggest – career move. Not only would he take the next step to the elite NASCAR Cup Series but it would be in the iconic No. 24 Chevrolet made famous by four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon and his storied Rainbow Warriors team. Byron began his 2018 rookie season at the same age Gordon was (20) when he made his Cup debut in 1992.
NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year:
NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion:
NASCAR Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year:
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year:
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Champion:
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Rookie of the Year: